Around 1,000 trees and shrubs are to be planted at Majjistral Nature and History Park in Mellieha, Malta as part of ongoing efforts by Ambjent Malta to improve the environment. Minister for the Environment, Sustainable Development and Climate Change Aaron Farrugia announced the campaign during a tree-planting event at the Park, attended by representatives of Ambjent Malta and the event sponsor – the Turkish embassy.
The initiative is part of a joint tree-planting drive on an international scale, which aims to create synergy in forestation. “Such efforts are important because the repercussions of pollution and climate change are something that affects all countries, and tangible change can only be brought about through agreement and collective cooperation,” Farrugia said, quoted by Malta Today.
Majjistral Park Chairman Sammy Vella pointed out that simply increasing tree numbers can have limited effect on the environment; therefore planting strategies need to be selective. To this end, the trees and shrubs to be planted at the park, such as olive trees, carob trees and the national Maltese tree, tal-għargħar, are indigenous and climate change-resistant. To ensure proper watering of the saplings, an irrigation system has been installed.
Malta’s first natural national park
Majjistral Nature and History Park, named after the Maltese word for the wind typical of these latitudes, is situated in the northwest of Malta. It was declared a national park by the government in September 2007.
A part of the park’s coastal area is a Natura 2000 site under the European Habitats Directive, but agricultural activities are allowed in some areas. Majjistral Park also comprises a number of historical and archaeological sites managed by the Ministry of Tourism. The park organizes educational school visits during the cooler months and guided snorkelling sessions in summer.
Holistic approach to the environment
Minister Farrugia announced in September that Ambjent Malta, a department now falling under the Environment Ministry, will be focusing on the implementation of holistic environmental projects in the coming years.
“Our projects need to take a number of things in consideration. They need to focus on environmental outcomes and not simply aesthetics. We need to work to truly improve the quality of life and wellbeing of our citizens, while protecting, conserving, and improving our natural heritage”, stated Minister Farrugia, quoted by the Environment Ministry’s website.